If nothing else,it seems like my aim is just to confound people with my off-center blog post titles. This is going to be a tough one to write, though. I don’t think that much of my topic fits into my humorous nature. I’m talking about the subject of the global persecution of Christians. Some of you probably started guffawing as you read that. That’s fine. As 1 Corinthians 1:18 states, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (NIV) So, as opposers of the one, true God tend to do- let me have what you think are the “facts”. Here’s what I know…
As I started doing some research, finding some videos, etc. for our youth group lesson I was more astonished than I had ever been. The physical, brutal torture of professing Christians in much of the world today is of epic proportions. I saw one video that showed three Christians being beaten, kicked, spat upon, and otherwise left for dead in India by Hindus. In another, Iraqi Christians had to meet in an armed compound for fear of open violence against them. In another account, a boy was forced by Muslims to gather the firewood that would fuel the fire he was to be thrown into. I knew things were bad, I just didn’t realize how bad it was. The one verse that got me was in 1 Corinthians 12:26 where it says, “If one part [of the body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it…” (NIV) This was a huge reality check for me in that I never have truly been aware of the atrocities which are being perpetrated on Christians. I had, I suppose, a “head” knowledge of them, but they sank down to my heart this time.
Ladies and gentlemen, America is not like these places. In many parts of the world, there is no religious freedom. You are either a Muslim, Hindu, or whatever the case may be- or you are, at best, ostracized. That’s the best case scenario. In the United States, and other countries with religious freedom, it is different. There are no, or very few, physical atrocities such as these. We have it good in that sense. All we have to encounter may be some snickering and jeering now and then. We may have to endure the occasional belligerent non- Christian attitude once in a while. Someone may even talk about us behind our backs! The bad thing, and I want to be careful here, is that we have no clue what true faith under fire is. Of course, we all have trials and problems- each person’s are unique to them. They need to be seen in light of James 1 and Romans 5:3-4. These things need to be undergone so that perseverance and spiritual maturity can abound. My only concern is: are we in danger of losing sight of what’s really going on in our world? Has American Christianity become too lax in its approach to understanding the suffering of the global body of Christ?
Again, not my normal blog post… and at 520+ words, not the normal length for me either. I hope this has given us some things to think about. I hope, more importantly, this has given us some things to pray about.
Until next time!